Trading places: U.S. Chamber pledges to use lawsuits to tackle Obama regulation
Friday, October 8, 2010
Proving that what goes around comes around, the traditionally anti-lawsuit U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pushing ahead with a litigation strategy meant to thwart the Obama Administration‘s efforts to tame greenhouse gases, tackle rising health care costs and reign in Wall Street.
Published reports say the chamber is launching its new, more aggressive legal stand as election day nears in a race that some pundits predict could end with chamber-allied Republicans gaining control of the House of Representatives.
“Litigation is one of our most powerful tools for making sure that federal agencies follow the law and are held accountable,” said Thomas Donohue, the chamber’s president and chief executive.
Reuters reported that two senior Democratic congressional officials said their view was that the chamber was effectively operating as an arm of the Republican Party during the current campaign. But the Democratic officials said they did not want quotes attributed to them for fear of unduly antagonizing the chamber.
The biggest outcry was by the chamber’s traditional critics. The American Assn. of Justice, the umbrella group for the nation’s trial lawyers, roared on its Twitter account that the chamber was engaging in bald hypocrisy by suddenly embracing litigation as its best weapon, immediately after chamber president Donahue complained about lawsuits.
“Hypocrites at chamber now LOVING lawsuits,” the AAJ said on Twitter. “Don’t they always whine about ‘frivolous litigation.’?”
— Eric Bailey